News. Love it, or hate it? I’ve learnt to approach all news with a very critical eye, but it’s taken me years to hone that critical skill and trust my own take on things. Ultimately, though, I am, as I tell students I visit at schools and libraries, a complete news junkie. First up in the morning it’s a little entrée of news via Twitter, then more substantial news on the radio as I drive to drop off and, later, collect my kids from school. Then it’s news on TV at 7pm, news analysis at 7.30, and international news at 9.30 (if I’m not curled up in bed by then with a good book). There are also feature news stories, such as those on Australian Story that I lap up like a cat at a saucer.
And every now and then, there’s something that sticks. Something that won’t leave my head. Something that I can’t help but ask ‘what if?’ questions about. What if there was a child in the glider that crashed in the Stirling Ranges is at the heart of The Amazing Spencer Gray. What if my characters lived through the Gracetown cliff collapse is the premise for The Break. And what if a toddler was delivered, alone, to your front door late at night is the question behind At My Door. Each one of these were ‘delivered’ to me, if you like, by the news.
So I shall keep watching, listening, reading. Shunning and questioning. And waiting for another story I just can’t get out of my head.